CIVIL SOCIETY AND POLITICAL DIALOGUE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL: TAIEX P2P PROGRAMME SEMINAR IN BRCKO (BiH). 2-3 April 2012

TAIEX P2P Programme organized a seminar for local civil society organizations and local self-governments in Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 2/3 April, on “The role of civil society in strengthening the political dialogue at the local level”. ALDA was invited to participate and share good practice on the civil dialogue at a local level through co-operation programmes and activities engaging Local Democracy Agencies in the Western Balkans.

In the session: Exchange of practices in civil consultations – an EU and Regional Perspective, keynote speakers were: Brian Meaney, member of the Working Group on Western Balkans of the CoR, Maris Pukis, Senior Advisor, Latvian Association of Local Governments, Kadri – Aija Viik, Board member of the Association of municipalities of Estonia,  Stanka Parac, ALDA SEE regional Programmes Coordinator (Serbia) and Goran Forbici, Director of Centre for Information Service, Co-operation and Development of NGO-s, Slovenia.
A vivid debate engaging some  50 participants took place during the 2-day seminar, while the two working groups were facilitated by Dzemal Hodzic, Task manager in EU Delegation Sarajevo and Slavica Draskovic, Resident Advisor TACSO BH,  came up with key priorities to be addressed in the follow-up activities. Particular attention was given to the need for active engagement of civil society in the reform of public sector in BH, with particular focus on local self-government, while also the need for capacity building for more effective and responsive local democracy; further to this, NGO-s were invited to contribute more effectively to the consultation process for the 2012 Progress Report of BH.

TAIEX P2P Programme organized a seminar for local civil society organizations and local self-governments in Brcko, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 2/3 April, on “The role of civil society in strengthening the political dialogue at the local level”. ALDA was invited to participate and share good practice on the civil dialogue at a local level through co-operation programmes and activities engaging Local Democracy Agencies in the Western Balkans.

In the session: Exchange of practices in civil consultations – an EU and Regional Perspective, keynote speakers were: Brian Meaney, member of the Working Group on Western Balkans of the CoR, Maris Pukis, Senior Advisor, Latvian Association of Local Governments, Kadri – Aija Viik, Board member of the Association of municipalities of Estonia,  Stanka Parac, ALDA SEE regional Programmes Coordinator (Serbia) and Goran Forbici, Director of Centre for Information Service, Co-operation and Development of NGO-s, Slovenia.
A vivid debate engaging some  50 participants took place during the 2-day seminar, while the two working groups were facilitated by Dzemal Hodzic, Task manager in EU Delegation Sarajevo and Slavica Draskovic, Resident Advisor TACSO BH,  came up with key priorities to be addressed in the follow-up activities. Particular attention was given to the need for active engagement of civil society in the reform of public sector in BH, with particular focus on local self-government, while also the need for capacity building for more effective and responsive local democracy; further to this, NGO-s were invited to contribute more effectively to the consultation process for the 2012 Progress Report of BH.


FIRST TRAINING SESSION OF TIC-TAC PROJECT: A FRUITFUL EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE PARTNERS. Brussels 29-30 March 2012

The international training session of the project TIC-TAC was a success since it allowed a fruitful exchange between the partners of the project, who were mostly represented.
The training session was held in the Liaison office of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region in Brussels from 29th to 30th March.

The day before, the participants of the training session of TIC-TAC attended the international launching conference of another project led by ALDA: WTD-Working Together for Development.
This training was the first opportunity for partners of the project TIC-TAC to meet each other and to share their experience. The first part of the training was organised with a dynamic approach providing to participants both theoretical elements on the Europe for Citizens Programme and concrete examples from people who have already implemented a project within this programme.
Then participants were divided in working groups and tried to identify quality elements on active citizenship projects, which were synthetised and presented to them on the second day of the training.
Diego Pinto, General Secretary of the European Movement International came to present its organisation and to speak about a specific way of grant proposed by the Europe for Citizens Programme (operating grant).
These two days allowed to participants to increase their knowledge on the Europe for Citizens Programme, to discuss the preparation of the second step of the project TIC-TAC, which is the organisation by each partner of 12 local info-days aiming at promoting the Europe for citizens Programme. It was also an opportunity for participants to meet new organisations and new potential partners for further projects.
For more information, please contact: Marine Henry, ALDA Project Manager Active Citizenshipmarine.henry@aldaintranet.org or +33 (0)3 90 21 45 93.

The international training session of the project TIC-TAC was a success since it allowed a fruitful exchange between the partners of the project, who were mostly represented.
The training session was held in the Liaison office of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region in Brussels from 29th to 30th March.

The day before, the participants of the training session of TIC-TAC attended the international launching conference of another project led by ALDA: WTD-Working Together for Development.
This training was the first opportunity for partners of the project TIC-TAC to meet each other and to share their experience. The first part of the training was organised with a dynamic approach providing to participants both theoretical elements on the Europe for Citizens Programme and concrete examples from people who have already implemented a project within this programme.
Then participants were divided in working groups and tried to identify quality elements on active citizenship projects, which were synthetised and presented to them on the second day of the training.
Diego Pinto, General Secretary of the European Movement International came to present its organisation and to speak about a specific way of grant proposed by the Europe for Citizens Programme (operating grant).
These two days allowed to participants to increase their knowledge on the Europe for Citizens Programme, to discuss the preparation of the second step of the project TIC-TAC, which is the organisation by each partner of 12 local info-days aiming at promoting the Europe for citizens Programme. It was also an opportunity for participants to meet new organisations and new potential partners for further projects.
For more information, please contact: Marine Henry, ALDA Project Manager Active Citizenshipmarine.henry@aldaintranet.org or +33 (0)3 90 21 45 93.


April

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LDA CSS NIS: THE LEADER APPROACH IN SERBIA. NEW PROJECT ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT

The 2nd of April marks the official start of the project “Capacity Building for the Purpose of Cooperation with the Eu – the Leader Approach”.
This initiative will be jointly implemented by Národná sieť miestnych akčných skupín Slovenskej republiky from Brezno in Slovak Republic, as the lead applicant, and LDA Nis, as the partner organization from the Serbian side.

The project addresses the problems of rural development in the territory of Serbia. The main goal of the project is to bring closer the LEADER approach to rural development to both public and private sector in Serbia drawing on the experience of the Slovak Republic as an EU member state to implement the Leader.
Since it was launched in 1991, the Leader Initiative has been working to provide rural communities in the EU with a method for involving local partners in steering the future development of their area. The Leader approach has attracted a high level of interest within the EU and far beyond. It has generated valuable results in many rural areas in the EU Member States and plays a significant role in assisting rural areas in new and the future EU Member States to adapt to today’s changing realities.
In the light of recently granted Candidate status to Serbia implementation of this project gains real additional value.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

The 2nd of April marks the official start of the project “Capacity Building for the Purpose of Cooperation with the Eu – the Leader Approach”.
This initiative will be jointly implemented by Národná sieť miestnych akčných skupín Slovenskej republiky from Brezno in Slovak Republic, as the lead applicant, and LDA Nis, as the partner organization from the Serbian side.

The project addresses the problems of rural development in the territory of Serbia. The main goal of the project is to bring closer the LEADER approach to rural development to both public and private sector in Serbia drawing on the experience of the Slovak Republic as an EU member state to implement the Leader.
Since it was launched in 1991, the Leader Initiative has been working to provide rural communities in the EU with a method for involving local partners in steering the future development of their area. The Leader approach has attracted a high level of interest within the EU and far beyond. It has generated valuable results in many rural areas in the EU Member States and plays a significant role in assisting rural areas in new and the future EU Member States to adapt to today’s changing realities.
In the light of recently granted Candidate status to Serbia implementation of this project gains real additional value.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic.


THE LAUNCH OF THE EUROPEAN CITIZENS' INITIATIVE: ALDA ACTIVITIES, CAMPAIGN AND INFORMATION DAYS

ALDA launches the activities and information campaign on the European Citizens Initiative, which represents a new and innovative tool for citizens’ participation in Europe.
“This is a challenging proposal, which needs to be fully understood by citizens. It does not represent a final step towards direct democracy but it is to be conceived as an important instrument for mobilization of interest in Europe”. says Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA.

The European Citizens’ Initiative, entered in force the 1st of April, will allow 1 million citizens from at least seven EU countries to invite the European Commission to bring forward proposals for legal acts in areas where the Commission has the power to do so. The organisers of a citizens’ initiative, a citizens’ committee composed of at least 7 EU citizens who are resident in at least 7 different Member States, will have 1 year to collect the necessary statements of support. The number of statements of support has to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States. The Commission will then have 3 months to examine the initiative and decide how to act on it. It is a right that is enshrined in the EU treaties. The rules and procedures governing the citizens’ initiative are set out in an EU regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in February 2011.
guide published by the European Union explains what the citizens’ initiative is about, how to sign up to initiatives and how to organise an initiative.
“Warming Up“ Conference was implemented last January on The European Citizens’ Initiative by the European Commission.
“I think that, at the moment, the effects of the ECI will be more on the side of awareness raising that the actual effects of the initiatives themselves. But, this is an opportunity not to lose. We hope that soon all the European members states will adopt the necessary national regulations for a full implementation”, says also Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA.
ALDA will support numerous activities organised for the launch of the European Citizens Initiative with the support the office in Brindisi (Italy) – fixes on the April the 18th, in Vicenza and Strasbourg and by la Maison de l’Europe in Caen (France). The members of ALDA will received during the upcoming month a full update on the possibilities and practical hints as for the ECI.
ALDA has been working on the field of active citizenship and citizen participation for a long time involving different stakeholders such as local authorities, Civil Society Organisations, citizens in local and national level. The idea of this information day is to increase the awareness of citizens on the key and crucial role they can and must play in the construction of the European Citizenship and to foster their participation in the European and local decision making process for a good governance.

ALDA launches the activities and information campaign on the European Citizens Initiative, which represents a new and innovative tool for citizens’ participation in Europe.
“This is a challenging proposal, which needs to be fully understood by citizens. It does not represent a final step towards direct democracy but it is to be conceived as an important instrument for mobilization of interest in Europe”. says Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA.

The European Citizens’ Initiative, entered in force the 1st of April, will allow 1 million citizens from at least seven EU countries to invite the European Commission to bring forward proposals for legal acts in areas where the Commission has the power to do so. The organisers of a citizens’ initiative, a citizens’ committee composed of at least 7 EU citizens who are resident in at least 7 different Member States, will have 1 year to collect the necessary statements of support. The number of statements of support has to be certified by the competent authorities in the Member States. The Commission will then have 3 months to examine the initiative and decide how to act on it. It is a right that is enshrined in the EU treaties. The rules and procedures governing the citizens’ initiative are set out in an EU regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in February 2011.
guide published by the European Union explains what the citizens’ initiative is about, how to sign up to initiatives and how to organise an initiative.
“Warming Up“ Conference was implemented last January on The European Citizens’ Initiative by the European Commission.
“I think that, at the moment, the effects of the ECI will be more on the side of awareness raising that the actual effects of the initiatives themselves. But, this is an opportunity not to lose. We hope that soon all the European members states will adopt the necessary national regulations for a full implementation”, says also Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA.
ALDA will support numerous activities organised for the launch of the European Citizens Initiative with the support the office in Brindisi (Italy) – fixes on the April the 18th, in Vicenza and Strasbourg and by la Maison de l’Europe in Caen (France). The members of ALDA will received during the upcoming month a full update on the possibilities and practical hints as for the ECI.
ALDA has been working on the field of active citizenship and citizen participation for a long time involving different stakeholders such as local authorities, Civil Society Organisations, citizens in local and national level. The idea of this information day is to increase the awareness of citizens on the key and crucial role they can and must play in the construction of the European Citizenship and to foster their participation in the European and local decision making process for a good governance.


ALDA AT THE WORKSHOP FOR UPGRADING ALGERIAN RURAL HERITAGE. BouSaâda (Algeria) 28-29 March 2012

As part of the SolAridprogramme, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Algeria in partnership with the Global Mechanism of UNCCD, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, had co-organised an international workshop for the socio-economic development of tangible and intangible rural heritage in arid and semi-arid regions of Algeria. The workshop took place from 28 to 29 March 2012 in BouSaâda (Algeria).
Vicepresident of ALDA, Mr. Alessandro Perelli, attended to the workshop.

Beginning his speech, Mr. Perelli has launched an appeal for the release of RossellaUrru, Italian cooperator kidnapped and imprisoned for five months in southern Algeria, and of others cooperators in the same condition.
“The experience of Northern Italy –Mr. Perelli said in his speech – indicates that in order to make a quality leap in the development of agriculture, Algeria needs to engage the modernization in its traditions. It is a challenge that Algerian people and its leaders have to face because development and modernization of the agricultural sector does not mean only positive feedback for the economy, but also a practical and viable solution to the serious social problem of emigration”.
As part of its National Strategy for Sustainability and Rural Development, Algeria wants to improve social cohesion and development of rural areasto guarantee equal resources access and that decentralization will result with special attention given to the most vulnerable rural populations. These objectives can be achieved only with an improvement in investment planning and if the geographical diversity is taken into account.
The strategy focuses on four programmes: rehabilitation of villages and “Ksours”, recovery and development of economic activities in rural development and natural resource protection, enhancement of tangible and intangible rural heritage. Each programme promotes partnerships between actors of development, multi-sectorial integration, support for the implementation of innovative economic activities, promotion and sustainable management of resources and heritage, socio-economic synergy and coordination in actions. These programmes all focus on development and revitalization (economic, social, environmental and cultural) of the territories.
Through this strategy, Algeria pursues several objectives: reverse rural exodus, fight against desertification and erosion, widespread social, economic, cultural and environmental development in steppe, oasis and mountainous areas.
The workshop had the aim to contribute to the enhancement of tangible and intangible rural heritage, through the analysis of international instruments and programmesand the identification of a pilot partnership programme for the development of socio-economic activities on rural heritage promotion, together with local actors.

As part of the SolAridprogramme, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Algeria in partnership with the Global Mechanism of UNCCD, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, had co-organised an international workshop for the socio-economic development of tangible and intangible rural heritage in arid and semi-arid regions of Algeria. The workshop took place from 28 to 29 March 2012 in BouSaâda (Algeria).
Vicepresident of ALDA, Mr. Alessandro Perelli, attended to the workshop.

Beginning his speech, Mr. Perelli has launched an appeal for the release of RossellaUrru, Italian cooperator kidnapped and imprisoned for five months in southern Algeria, and of others cooperators in the same condition.
“The experience of Northern Italy –Mr. Perelli said in his speech – indicates that in order to make a quality leap in the development of agriculture, Algeria needs to engage the modernization in its traditions. It is a challenge that Algerian people and its leaders have to face because development and modernization of the agricultural sector does not mean only positive feedback for the economy, but also a practical and viable solution to the serious social problem of emigration”.
As part of its National Strategy for Sustainability and Rural Development, Algeria wants to improve social cohesion and development of rural areasto guarantee equal resources access and that decentralization will result with special attention given to the most vulnerable rural populations. These objectives can be achieved only with an improvement in investment planning and if the geographical diversity is taken into account.
The strategy focuses on four programmes: rehabilitation of villages and “Ksours”, recovery and development of economic activities in rural development and natural resource protection, enhancement of tangible and intangible rural heritage. Each programme promotes partnerships between actors of development, multi-sectorial integration, support for the implementation of innovative economic activities, promotion and sustainable management of resources and heritage, socio-economic synergy and coordination in actions. These programmes all focus on development and revitalization (economic, social, environmental and cultural) of the territories.
Through this strategy, Algeria pursues several objectives: reverse rural exodus, fight against desertification and erosion, widespread social, economic, cultural and environmental development in steppe, oasis and mountainous areas.
The workshop had the aim to contribute to the enhancement of tangible and intangible rural heritage, through the analysis of international instruments and programmesand the identification of a pilot partnership programme for the development of socio-economic activities on rural heritage promotion, together with local actors.


ALDA AT THE SUMMIT OF EUROPE'S REGIONS AND CITIES. Copenhagen, 22‑23 March 2012

Vice President of ALDA, Mr. Dobrica Milovanovic, had the opportunity to present ALDA, its Network and its work in Europe at the Summit of Europe’s Regions and Cities that took place in Copenhagen on 22 and 23 March 2012, promoted by the Committee of the Regions.
Mr. Milovanovic had short interventions during one of the workshops of the event and had a short exchange of words with the President of the European Commission, Josè Manuel Barroso, and the Danish Prime Minister Mrs. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, whom he thanked for supporting Serbia to get EU candidate status.

Mr Milovanovic met also the Mayors of Copenhagen, Mr. Frank Jensen, and Lisbon Antonio Costa.
This high level event entitled “The European urban fabric in the 21st century” was fully dedicated to the sustainable urban development. Mayors of European cities, presidents of regions, architects, the experts on
urban planning and others shared their views on the many challenges they are facing – how to prevent climate changes, create jobs, promote economic growth and to ensure sustainable energy supply.
During various workshops they also presented some of their best practices and innovative approaches. “Copenhagen declaration” adopted at the end of the Summit, which promotes the transition to “green economy”, was supported by the highest EU officials, (president of EC Mr Jose Manuel Barroso, president of EP Mr Martin Schulz, Prime Minister of Denmark, Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt).
Mr Barroso stated that the transition to a green economy will require appropriate funding and EU policies and the development of innovative financial systems involving local partners, banks, private companies and civil society.

Vice President of ALDA, Mr. Dobrica Milovanovic, had the opportunity to present ALDA, its Network and its work in Europe at the Summit of Europe’s Regions and Cities that took place in Copenhagen on 22 and 23 March 2012, promoted by the Committee of the Regions.
Mr. Milovanovic had short interventions during one of the workshops of the event and had a short exchange of words with the President of the European Commission, Josè Manuel Barroso, and the Danish Prime Minister Mrs. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, whom he thanked for supporting Serbia to get EU candidate status.

Mr Milovanovic met also the Mayors of Copenhagen, Mr. Frank Jensen, and Lisbon Antonio Costa.
This high level event entitled “The European urban fabric in the 21st century” was fully dedicated to the sustainable urban development. Mayors of European cities, presidents of regions, architects, the experts on
urban planning and others shared their views on the many challenges they are facing – how to prevent climate changes, create jobs, promote economic growth and to ensure sustainable energy supply.
During various workshops they also presented some of their best practices and innovative approaches. “Copenhagen declaration” adopted at the end of the Summit, which promotes the transition to “green economy”, was supported by the highest EU officials, (president of EC Mr Jose Manuel Barroso, president of EP Mr Martin Schulz, Prime Minister of Denmark, Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt).
Mr Barroso stated that the transition to a green economy will require appropriate funding and EU policies and the development of innovative financial systems involving local partners, banks, private companies and civil society.


ALDA LAUNCHED THE WTD ALLIANCE, A PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT

On 28th March 2012 ALDA launched the WTD Alliance through the International Conference Local authorities and civil society: a partnership for development.
ALDA, together with the 21 partners and associates of WTD (Working Together for Development), commits to share at the European and National levels the best practices of cooperation between LAs and CSOs in development cooperation.
The President of the Committee of the Regions, Ms Mercedes Bresso, who opened the Conference, highlighted the strong efforts of the Committee in this direction and the strong support to ALDA in its work.
See here the videos
See here the photo gallery

“The WTD Alliance would have two main objectives: implementing actions at the local level involving LAs and CSOs and bringing to policy makers those best development cooperation practices. As for the first objective, WTD has a strong local dimension by re-granting part of the resources of the project to small initiatives carried out by local authorities, of municipalities with up to 30,000 inhabitants, and local NGOs. As for the second point, we have appreciated the progress of the Structured Dialogue on Development through our membership in the CONCORD platform and we welcome the idea of the European Commission of setting up a Policy Forum on Development” stated Mr. Per Vinther, ALDA President in his intervention.
The representatives of the main European and International institutions, European Commission, Council of Europe and UNDP, shared the concerns of ALDA and of the WTD Alliance members as for the promotion of a peer and fruitful cooperation among CSOs and LAs in development.
The Conference had also the contribution of practitioners, both representatives of LAs and CSOs, involved in development cooperation processes, which highlighted the importance of cooperating at the local level when implementing and planning development actions.
Ms Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA, presented the main features of actions of the WTD Alliance included in the position paper  on WTD Political Dimension subscribed by its members.
The WTD Alliance aims at fostering the joint role of LAs and CSOs as promoters of democracy, social justice and human rights, promoting and favouring cooperation among all types of LAs and CSOs in order to bring their best practices of cooperation to European, national and regional institutions, trying to influence their development policies consequently.
The Alliance aims at playing a relevant political role at the EU level, as well as at the national and regional level when it comes to the promotion of good cooperation between LAs and CSOs in development cooperation. As such the WTD Alliance aims at integrating its voice and sharing its experience in the proposed Policy Forum on Development.
For more information please contact Mr Alfonso Aliberti, Project Manager of ALDA, at alfonso.aliberti@aldaintranet.org

On 28th March 2012 ALDA launched the WTD Alliance through the International Conference Local authorities and civil society: a partnership for development.
ALDA, together with the 21 partners and associates of WTD (Working Together for Development), commits to share at the European and National levels the best practices of cooperation between LAs and CSOs in development cooperation.
The President of the Committee of the Regions, Ms Mercedes Bresso, who opened the Conference, highlighted the strong efforts of the Committee in this direction and the strong support to ALDA in its work.
See here the videos
See here the photo gallery

“The WTD Alliance would have two main objectives: implementing actions at the local level involving LAs and CSOs and bringing to policy makers those best development cooperation practices. As for the first objective, WTD has a strong local dimension by re-granting part of the resources of the project to small initiatives carried out by local authorities, of municipalities with up to 30,000 inhabitants, and local NGOs. As for the second point, we have appreciated the progress of the Structured Dialogue on Development through our membership in the CONCORD platform and we welcome the idea of the European Commission of setting up a Policy Forum on Development” stated Mr. Per Vinther, ALDA President in his intervention.
The representatives of the main European and International institutions, European Commission, Council of Europe and UNDP, shared the concerns of ALDA and of the WTD Alliance members as for the promotion of a peer and fruitful cooperation among CSOs and LAs in development.
The Conference had also the contribution of practitioners, both representatives of LAs and CSOs, involved in development cooperation processes, which highlighted the importance of cooperating at the local level when implementing and planning development actions.
Ms Antonella Valmorbida, Director of ALDA, presented the main features of actions of the WTD Alliance included in the position paper  on WTD Political Dimension subscribed by its members.
The WTD Alliance aims at fostering the joint role of LAs and CSOs as promoters of democracy, social justice and human rights, promoting and favouring cooperation among all types of LAs and CSOs in order to bring their best practices of cooperation to European, national and regional institutions, trying to influence their development policies consequently.
The Alliance aims at playing a relevant political role at the EU level, as well as at the national and regional level when it comes to the promotion of good cooperation between LAs and CSOs in development cooperation. As such the WTD Alliance aims at integrating its voice and sharing its experience in the proposed Policy Forum on Development.
For more information please contact Mr Alfonso Aliberti, Project Manager of ALDA, at alfonso.aliberti@aldaintranet.org